(APRIL 26-28, 2019)
Fred Smith blends tunes you can whistle with stories you will remember. His songs are subtle, wry and perceptive. His remarkable hybrid career is the subject of an Australian Story documentary.
Irma Gold is an award-winning author and editor. Her short fiction has been widely published in Australia’s finest literary journals, including Meanjin, Westerly, Island and Review of Australian Fiction.
Gabrielle has shared her poetry at local, national and international events for over 20 years. Her first collection of poetry “Spoken Medicine” (2017) was published by Ginninderra Press.
As a writer, publisher, editor, bookseller and book coach, Suzanne helps talented Australian writers self-publish and earn a passive income online. She runs writing courses/workshops/literary events and is passionate about nurturing the next generation of talented writers.
2019 Flash Fiction Fun Weekend
An Opportunity To Turbocharge Your Writing
If you are an aspiring writer, an emerging writer, or an established writer, then this weekend is for you. Unlike the usual readers & writers festivals, this one is specifically designed for writers (who, let’s face it are readers too), to rub shoulders with the most successful writers in Australia today, and learn to hone their craft
What Is Flash Fiction?
Flash fiction is about saying more with less. When you only have 500 words to express yourself you have to learn to be precise. As a writer, this is one of the most invaluable skills you can ever develop.
But it’s much more than that.
It’s also about storytelling. Through writing short stories (via flash fiction), we can practise sharpening our writing skills. No matter what you write – genre fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction, biography or poetry, we’ve got you covered. This is for you to turbocharge your own writing skills.
For most definitions, flash fiction is a complete narrative story under either 2,000 words, 1,000 words, or for our purposes for this weekend, 500 words or less. It goes by many other names too: microfiction, microstories, short-shorts, very short stories, sudden fiction, postcard fiction, and nano-fiction, among others.
Did you know that many famous writers started their writing careers by writing short stories? Not only that, but over time, as our attention spans have shrunk, flash fiction has become more and more popular. So we have embraced it wholeheartedly as our chosen vehicle for professional learning for this weekend.
The Flash Fiction Fun Festival in Canberra is designed for writers, from the novice to emerging, mid-career and even those at the peak of their careers. It is for anyone who is a serious writer. A writer who is a life-long learner and who wants to hone their writing skills, to become the best writer they can be.
– Suzanne Kiraly
Our Incredible Presenters
And Introducing Our Emerging Writers…
About The Event
You will hear from an array of excellent writers, who will each share their nuggets of wisdom about their writing journeys through short, half-hour (flash) keynotes.
Then, you can choose between a number of (flash) 75-minute workshops, which will all be practical and with opportunities to write and apply what you have learned. They are fully focused on the art/craft of writing.
We will also have panel discussions on writing/publishing and also distribution/marketing for emerging writers, etc. In short, all things writerly. The program is a rich one – and last year 90% of our attendees rated our inaugural weekend a 9 or a 10 out of 10. So we know this kind of program is incredibly valuable. This year we have also introduced a new literary speed dating component, where you can pitch your book idea to a panel of professionals. You never know. You may end up with a book deal.
(Hint: there are not many scenarios where you will rub shoulders with such brilliant writers.)
Inspiration, innovation, and ignition.
For our interstate visitors, there are many choices for accommodation, but we have two accommodation partners to offer to you. The first is located in the venue where the weekend is being hosted, at the East Hotel and rooms there will cost $220, but if you use the code: ‘WRITE’ when you book you will get what they call “run of house” rooms, which have been put aside specifically for conference delegates.
To make reservations you can email the hotel at email@example.com or call 02 6295 6925
The second is a lovely older hotel about 20 minutes walking distance from our conference venue and it is the Forrest Hotel and if you book online the rates are from $105 – $110 and you can get a further discount of 5-10% by booking online. Another hotel within walking distance is Rydges Capital Hill
All-day coffee and tea facilities will be provided along with morning and afternoon teas. Lunches and dinners are up to you. There are three restaurants/bars within the hotel and the famous Kingston Pub across the road. Apart from that, both the Kingston shopping centre and the Manuka shopping centre host a plethora of diverse restaurants. Both shopping centres are an easy 15-minute walk away.
Transport & Sightseeing
Uber is popular in Canberra and reasonably cheap. The city centre is just 10 minutes away by car and so too, are many of our national icons, a delightful treat for our tourists. Be sure to check out the Visit Canberra Website to see what’s on while you are here.
What You Will Learn
Tales After Dark (Friday night) is held at the Whisky Bar in Braddon (above Civic Pub).
The Flash Fiction Fun Weekend (Saturday and Sunday) is held at the East Hotel, situated between the vibrant shopping and restaurant hubs of Kingston and Manuka in Canberra’s “Inner South”
About Our Writers
Graeme Simsion is a former IT consultant and business owner who decided at the age of fifty to become a screenwriter. After five years of study, ten short films and a couple of plays, he had a feature-film screenplay with no takers, which he decided to re-write as a novel. The Rosie Project and its sequel, The Rosie Effect, went on to sell five million copies with translations in over forty languages. The Best of Adam Sharp and Two Steps Forward (the latter written with Anne Buist) were also international bestsellers. His latest novel is The Rosie Result.
Bettina Arndt trained as a clinical psychologist before becoming well-known as one of Australia’s first sex therapists. She then had a long career as a social commentator on gender issues, appearing regularly on television and radio and writing for major publications. Bettina is now attracting big audiences for her YouTube videos attacking feminism for abandoning the quest for equality to endlessly advantage women ahead of men. Her new book, #MenToo, presents collected wisdom from decades of Bettina’s writing about men’s issues. In a culture dominated by women’s wants and needs, it tells the other side of the story.
Marion Halligan has published more than twenty books: some eleven novels – many you have probably heard of. She has been short-listed for most of the prizes on offer, and has won. She has regularly reviewed books, and likes to write essays. She has received an AM for her services to literature. Valley of Grace, Allen & Unwin, March 2009 won the ACT Book of the Year and was long-listed for the IMPAC Prize.
Karen Viggers is a wildlife veterinarian who has worked with native animals in many remote parts of Australia, from the Kimberley to Antarctica. She is the award-winning, internationally best-selling author of four novels The Stranding, The Lightkeeper’s Wife, The Grass Castle, and The Orchardists’s Daughter. Her work has been translated into several languages. In 2016, The Lightkeeper’s Wife/La Memoire des embruns was awarded the Les Petitis Mots des Libraires literary prize, and was short-listed for the Livre de poche Reader’s Choice award in France.
Anne Buist is a Professor of Women’s Mental Health, who has turned her forensic psychiatric skill to writing fiction; she is author of three novels in the Natalie King, forensic psychiatrist, series and a new stand-alone rural thriller out in 2020, as well as co-author with husband Graeme Simsion, of midlife renewal Rom-Com, Two Steps Forward.
Jack Heath is the best-selling author of more than 20 thrillers for adults and children including Hunter, Hangman, 300 Minutes of Danger and the Liars series. His novels have been translated into several languages, shortlisted for awards, adapted for film and optioned for TV. According to Jeffery Deaver, Jack has a “boundless imagination and a singular voice.” He lives in Canberra. For more, visit jackheath.com.au.
You’ll find Susanne planting 3000 mangroves in Kiribati; in Istanbul sharing her I Am Jack books and NO Bullying; in remote indigenous communities sharing story with elders and children; invited to speak at World Burn Conference in New York on her novel Butterflies; in Goa at the Indian Association for the Study of Australia Conference about the Indian-Australian anthologies which feature her short stories along with David Malouf and Sir Salman Rushdie. Awarded the Lifetime Social Justice Literature Award by the International Literacy Association, a nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award with an Order of Australia, Susanne Gervay is recognized for her award winning short stories and youth literature. www.sgervay.com
Craig Cormick is an award-winning Canberra author and science communicator. He has published over 30 books of fiction, non-fiction and children’s fiction, with both small and mainstream publishers, in Australia and overseas. Much of his work deals with reinterpretations of history.
His writing awards include a Queensland Premier’s Award, ACT Book of the Year Award, the Tasmania Writers Prize and a Victorian Community History Award. Craig is a former chair of the ACT Writers Centre and has taught creative writing at University and in schools, and is a great believer that good writing comes from good editing drafting rewriting.
“This remarkable singer-songwriter – who reveals influences that range from Paul Kelly via Lou Reed to Loudon Wainwright III to Leonard Cohen – keeps releasing amazingly accomplished albums.” (Bruce Elder, SMH). Fred Smith blends tunes you can whistle with stories you will remember. His songs are subtle, wry and perceptive. His remarkable hybrid career is the subject of an Australian Story documentary.
His memoir, the Dust of Uruzgan, was recently published by Allen and Unwin. His performances will have you laughing, thinking and feeling. An experienced performer and raconteur with a deep catalogue of quality songs, Fred seldom repeats a song from set to set at a festival. He offers a range of themed concerts and presentations that bring to life the human complexities of the countries he has worked in: Afghanistan, PNG, USA and now Australia.
Irma Gold is an award-winning author and editor. Her short fiction has been widely published in Australia’s finest literary journals, including Meanjin, Westerly, Island and Review of Australian Fiction. Her short fiction collection, Two Steps Forward, was shortlisted for or won a number of awards, and her debut novel manuscript won the NSW Writers Centre Varuna Fellowship, and development grants from artsACT and CAPO. She is also the author of three children’s books, with a fourth due out with Walker Books. Irma has worked as an editor for almost 20 years and is Convener of Editing at the University of Canberra. Visit her at https://irmagold.com
Gabrielle has shared her poetry at local, national and international events for over 20 years. Her first collection of poetry “Spoken Medicine” (2017) was published by Ginninderra Press. Gabrielle is inspired by creative communities which celebrate diversity, activism and inclusion.
As a writer, publisher, editor, bookseller and teacher, Suzanne has over 20 years of experience in all facets of the publishing industry. As a book coach she’s works with talented Australian writers to teach them how to self-publish and make a passive income online. She runs writing courses/workshops/literary events and her greatest claim to fame is that she can recognise writing talent in others.
David’s poetry has been published in several issues of the Hippocampus Press Magazine, Spectral Realms, edited by S.T. Joshi. The Anno KlarkAsh-Ton Anthology by Rainfall Books, and their magazines: Strange Sorcery and Creepy Nightmares.
For her work, inspiring hope in the lives of Australians, Rachael was an ACT Finalist for the 2017 Young Australian of the Year Award. In 2016 she won the ACT Young Woman of the Year Award. Rachael’s spoken word poetry has also been incredibly impactful with online audiences and in advocating for better treatment of those suffering with mental illness.
Jenny Morris has always enjoyed reading and writing poetry and rhyme, but even more so now, as she has grandchildren to delight. Her first book, The Thing on Mount Spring won the International Rubery Book Award in the Illustrated Children’s category in 2018.
After graduating with an English Literature degree from Adelaide University, he has pursued a number of paths, including farming, managing a radio station, working in tourism, and most recently, an extended spell in the public service in Canberra. Now retired, he is dedicating his time to a life-long interest in creative writing, and, in particular, to writing historical Australian fiction.